Pizzaiolo Bradford Kent gives L.A. a taste of Olio
We've been tracking Bradford Kent since his days at the Manhattan Beach farmers market, where he'd roll his wood-burning oven to 13th Street and serve up his fresh crisp-crusted pizzas. Back then he was making specials such as a Thai basil-shrimp pizza with Thai basil-mint-cilantro pesto, fresh spinach, curried shrimp, Monterey Jack cheese, wok-charred cashews, and a drizzle of Thai curry sauce that he made with reduced coconut milk, his penang curry and kaffir lime leaf.
Now Kent, a chef and food scientist, is set to open Olio Pizzeria & Cafe in an 860-square-foot corner space on 3rd Street in Los Angeles. He says he expects to open in October.
But over the weekend he was cooking pizzas and offering samples from his mobile wood-burning oven in front of the under-construction restaurant. On his planned menu are a pizza Margherita; one with organic chicken fennel sausage; a "Hawaiian" with fresh pineapple, prosciutto di Parma and (if requested) jalapeno; a truffled potato, mushroom and pancetta pizza; another with prosciutto and brie; and rotating specials.
Kent plans to serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, and this weekend he was making his sesame seed and onion bialys, slathered with cream cheese and filled with his cured wild salmon. On Sunday, his mom, visiting from San Diego, stopped by and for the first time tried Kent's wood-fired "danish" -- his pizza dough sprinkled with turbinado sugar and topped with fresh blueberries. In the oven, the sugar gets caramelized and crackly and juice bursts from the blueberries. Says Mom: "It's wonderful."
8075 W. 3rd St., Los Angeles, (323) 930-9490, www.pizzeriaolio.com.
-- Betty Hallock
See photos of Bradford Kent's bialy and blueberry "danish" after the jump.